KUALA LUMPUR • Millions of Muslims around the world celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri yesterday, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, though the festivities for many took place under tight security amid a heightened threat of terror strikes.
While most gathered at mosques and holy shrines to pray, in Baghdad, Iraq, thousands gathered in a burnt shopping mall and lit candles to remember the 250 people killed in a suicide bombing.
In Malaysia, King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and his wife, Queen Hajah Haminah, were joined by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor for prayers alongside thousands of other worshippers at the Federal Territory Mosque in the morning, reported The Star.
Later, Datuk Seri Najib played host to thousands of people who thronged the open house at his official residence in Putrajaya. Security was tight with guests having to undergo scans, while their bags were examined as they entered the premises. There was a second security check at the main entrance to the Prime Minister's official residence. Members of opposition parties also attended the event.
In Indonesia, children dressed in red and gold and holding brightly coloured fans delighted crowds as they paraded through the streets in Jakarta, reported The Daily Mail.
President Joko Widodo performed the morning prayer with thousands of Muslims at the Padang Grand Mosque in West Sumatra, reported The Jakarta Post.
Meanwhile, Vice-President Jusuf Kalla and his wife Mufidah Jusuf Kalla attended Aidilfitri prayers at the Istiqlal Mosque in central Jakarta with around 150,000 Muslims. Some 240 police officers were on guard at the venue.
In Germany, thousands of immigrants came together to celebrate the end of Ramadan, many for the first time in their new country.
Sydney's biggest mosque welcomed 50,000 worshippers, many of whom prayed in the street as prayers were broadcast over loudspeakers.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called for peace in his war-torn country at an official gathering at the presidential palace in Kabul, reported Reuters.
In India, Aidilfitri was celebrated in the states of Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir yesterday, but will be observed in the rest of the country today, based on sighting of the new moon. It was the first time in decades that the festival was celebrated in Jammu and Kashmir on the same day as Arab countries and neighbouring Pakistan, reported The Times of India.
In Karachi, Pakistan, the festival was observed under tight security, with police as well as soldiers deployed around special prayer grounds, reported Reuters.